2013 Auto Industry Analysis: Dodge Challenger R/T at L'Auberge de Sedona: A Blending of Technological and Culinary Excellence


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Sedona, AZ, 15 December, 2012 - Ten years ago, as Reuters photographer John Hillery and myself rounded a curve on Arizona Service Route 89 in a pre-production and completely revamped 2002 Ford Explorer, we came face-to-face with at least a 2 ton boulder blocking the roadway. There was no place to go; going around on the left would have placed us perilously close to the road edge and an estimated 1,000 ft. drop. Going to the right was out of the question.

The only choice was to stop, hopefully, in time.

We had four things working to our advantage: 1. Anti-lock braking (ABS) 2. New for Explorer anti-dive geometry 3. Lighter weight. and 4. Driving skills (John’s) presumed adequate. Thankfully, all these aspects combined to stop us just a hairsbreadth from this massive boulder which would have made short work of our vehicle - and perhaps us - had we impacted it.

Fast forward to 15 December, 2012, again headed to Sedona, this time for lunch at the renowned and highly recommended by my driving companion, L'Auberge de Sedona Resort and its Restaurant on Oak Creek.

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2013 Auto Industry Analysis: Dodge Challenger R/T at L'Auberge de Sedona: A Blending of Technological and Culinary Excellence

  1. 1. eMOTION! REPORTS.com Automotive/Aerospace Industries Systemic Intelligence2013 Dodge Challenger R/T at L’Auberge de Sedona: a Blending of Technological and Culinary Excellence
  2. 2. 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T at L’Auberge de Sedona: a Blending of Technological and Culinary ExcellenceSedona, AZ, 15 December, 2012 - Ten years ago, as Reuters photographer John Hillery and myselfrounded a curve on Arizona Service Route 89 in a pre-production and completely revamped 2002 FordExplorer, we came face-to-face with at least a 2 ton boulder blocking the roadway. There was no place togo; going around on the left would have placed us perilously close to the road edge and an estimated1,000 ft. drop. Going to the right was out of the question.The only choice was to stop, hopefully, in time.We had four things working to our advantage: 1. Anti-lock braking (ABS) 2. New for Explorer anti-divegeometry 3. Lighter weight. and 4. Driving skills (John’s) presumed adequate. Thankfully, all theseaspects combined to stop us just a hairsbreadth from this massive boulder which would have made shortwork of our vehicle - and perhaps us - had we impacted it.Fast forward to 15 December, 2012, again headed to Sedona, this time for lunch at the renowned andhighly recommended by my driving companion, LAuberge de Sedona Resort and its Restaurant on OakCreek.
  3. 3. Set in a stunningly beautiful locale among the Red Rocks - a weighted statement considering that Sedonais one of the most aesthetically glorious places on earth - much is offered in the way of placing maximumdistance between guests and the cares, pressures, stresses and concerns of what is commonly called life.
  4. 4. Like my companion, I am a Frank Lloyd Wright aficionado, and we were both struck by the similaritiesof LAuberge landscaping, utilization of natural resources and building placement to Wrights approachof melding human conceptualized architecture within the organic. Moreover, it called to mind his wordsin describing this machine age architects masterpiece of residences, Fallingwater: "Fallingwater is a greatblessing -- one of the great blessings to be experienced here on earth, I think nothing yet ever so equaled thecoordination, sympathetic expression of the great principle of repose where forest and stream and rock andall the elements of structure are combined so quietly that really you listen not to any noise whatsoeveralthough the music of the stream is there. But you listen to Fallingwater the way you listen to the quiet ofthe country..."
  5. 5. Mother Nature at Her Uncooperative BestOur mission in this instance was twofold: Evaluation of the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T, and the cuisine ofLAuberge Restaurant on Oak Creek (In another life, I was a restaurant critic) which my companion hadassured me was a cut above.But in a circumstance eerily similar to the boulder encounter of a decade previous, we found ourselvesand I-17 under relentless climatological assault through heavy rain, intermittent snow, and an interstatesection badly in need of repair. In an instant, we were immersed in a wall of water thrown up by a vehicleto the left of us, following its encounter with a pool of accumulated rain water at 65 mph.Two things, maybe three, were at work for us; 1. Years of training through the Bob Bondurant and SkipBarber Racing Schools, and 2. A vehicle whose superior balance and road adhesion characteristics -thanks to an excellent blending of power, suspension, Electronic Stability Control, All Speed TractionControl and tire technologies by Dodge engineers - was conducive to a flawless performance within animpending road emergency... Northrop-Grumman F-14 Tomcat Breaking the Sound Barrier Image: US NavyIf memory serves me correctly, the recommended action for recovery from a flat spin in a Northrop-Grumman F-14 Tomcat or fighter aircraft of similar configuration and performance, is perhapsanalogous to the situation we suddenly encountered: DO NOTHING. The prevailing wisdom being thatadditional pilot or driver inputs could well exacerbate the problem. And, despite survival instincts tellingyou to take some action, i.e.; slow down, change lanes, etc., the training forces a more logical course, andit worked for us that day. Challenger emerged from this water baptism maintaining course and speed,without a hint of perturbance.And that has been the experience, in a variety of driving circumstances on Arizona and Californiaroadways, with this extraordinarily balanced and modern iteration of a ‘70’s muscle car icon.
  6. 6. Safe Arrival at L’AubergeAlthough slightly unnerved by the experience, we were nevertheless confident that the cuisine andatmosphere of L’Auberge would more than compensate, and we were correct.It is no exaggeration to say I felt instantly at home in spacious and well-appointed surroundings (mycompanion had been there many times before, and has never been disappointed) while delighting in anattentive staff from the moment we walked in until departure. Our waiter, Luklik, epitomized theknowledgeable presenter of fine cuisine, and seemed possessed of a sixth sense in terms of anticipatingneed.My companion chose from the menu Spinach and Leek Chicken Crepes; served with cherry tomato andcucumber salad, while gruyere cheese fondue provided a flavorful topping . Light, airy and tasteful, it wasserved in the right quantity; allowing one to savor the experience without caloric concerns.When I delayed making a selection from a fairly expansive menu, Luklik quickly suggested a specialentree for that days’ luncheon dining: Veal and Lamb Bolognese; a pasta dish that revealed, via itstexture, aroma and a taste that lingered long enough within the tongues’ receptors for me to perceive theculinary architecture of its individual components, why it was so strongly recommended.
  7. 7. Both entrees’ were impeccably presented and demonstrative of a flair for artistry in this most criticalaspect of any fine dining experience. And, as if on cue, Chef Keith was kind enough to grace us with hispresence, offering commentary on the decision to include this Italian themed repast in the offerings of theday: “Veal and Lamb Bolognese, a winter time entrée at L’Auberge. As the weather cools down, this is ahearty pasta dish sure to warm your heart and soul.”I completely agreed with his assessment, and I will order this again when we return for a more unhurriedbreakfast, lunch and dinner experience, along with a more comprehensive walkthrough of L’Aubergegrounds in the near future.It goes without saying that a fine dining establishment is only as good as its culinary staff, and assuranceof a memorable event is the responsibility of L’Auberge Head Chef Rochelle Daniel.Why she was selected by the establishment’s executive leadership is borne out by the impressive Bio ofChef Daniel: “Chef Rochelle Daniel discovered her passion for cooking at the age of 15 and soon embarked on an illustrious culinary journey that has led her to her current role as head Chef of the award-winning L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek. After graduating from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, Daniel was offered a position at Zinc Bistro, cooking under the award winning Executive Chef Matt Carter before working her way up to become Chef de Cuisine. “Chef Daniel’s unique creativity combined with her understanding of currentdining trends has provided her many highly esteemed opportunities. A few career highlights include consulting for the opening of Lush Burger Restaurant, offering food demonstrations through Food Network and acting as a personal chef for families with nutritional needs. She has also been recognized as one of the Valleys top 5 Sous Chef’s by the Arizona Republic and as Best Sous Chef by AZcentral.com. Chef Daniels’ reputable culinary career, ability to stay ahead of the dining curve and distinct approachability will only continue to enhance the highly celebrated L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek.”
  8. 8. L’Auberge Head Chef Rochelle Daniel discusses the days menu and wine selections with Chef Keith and Culinary staffer Image: LAuberge
  9. 9. Chef Daniel oversees the creation of perfect pairings of cuisine and select wines from LAuberges impressive wine cellar Image: LAuberge
  10. 10. December 15, 2012 Starters Artisan Cheese Platter 18 Chefs Daily Selection of Three Cheeses, Classic Accompaniments In House Charcuterie 14 Warm Olives, Violet Mustard, Toasted Ciabatta Flatbread of the Day 15 Chefs Daily Selection Seasonal Soup 12 Chefs Daily Selection Salads/Sandwiches/Signatures Organic Mixed Greens 13 Shaved Pears, Blue Cheese, Candied Pecans, Red Wine Vinaigrette Arugula & Fig Salad 15 Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Pickled English Cucumber, Feta Cheese Dungeness Crab Salad 22 Iceburg Lettuce, Tarragon, Toasted Hazelnuts, Baby Tomato, Sherry Vinaigrette Seared Ahi Tuna Niçoise * 22 Baby Arugula, Olives, Haricots Vert, Fingerling Potatoes, Citrus Crème Fraiche Roasted Chicken Caesar Salad 16 Baby Gem Lettuce, Oven Roasted Baby Heirlooms Focaccia Crouton, Parmesan Vinaigrette Rosemary Marinated Flat Iron Salad* 18 Bib Lettuce, Radish, Candied Walnuts, Roquefort Vinaigrette Roasted Turkey Panini 16 Avocado, Smoked Swiss cheese, Pickled Onion, Watercress Chile Aioli, Marble Rye Salmon “BLT” 16 Butter leaf, Heirloom Tomato, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Cornichon Aioli L’Auberge Burger* 18 Angus Beef Burger, Arugula, Heirloom Tomato on Fresh Brioche Bun Choice of Bacon Bleu Cheese or Vermont White Cheddar Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwich 16Mozzarella, Roasted Red Peppers, Arugula, Basil Pesto, Griddled Focaccia Bread Slow Roasted Prime Rib Sandwich* 18Grilled Poblano Chiles, Caramelized Onions, Prairie Breeze Cheese, Herb Focaccia Spinach & Leek Chicken Crepes 22 Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Salad, Gruyere Cheese Fondue Bouillabaisse, Fresh Fish of the Day 24 Creamy Risotto, Rouille, Toasted Sourdough Sides L’Auberge Fries 7 Fruit Salad Mint Scented 7 Green Salad Cucumber, Tomatoes, Onions, Red Wine Vinaigrette 7 Twenty Percent Gratuity will be Added to Parties of Six or More For the comfort of all our guests please refrain from cell phone use
  11. 11. A Place of RestorationOne of the most difficult things to do is leave Sedona owing to its near uncanny attractiveness andcalming effect felt at the physiologic and psychologic sub-molecular level. Indigenous peoples forcenturies have considered this as an undeniably spiritual place, and one soon finds proof of thecorrectness of their contention. To be sure, there is something alien about the landscape, its everchanging colours and clear evidence of anomalies in the earth’s electro-magnetic field designated asvortices here..I rather suspect that psychiatrists and self -help gurus consider Sedona an anathema to their trade, andthey should be afraid… very afraid. The beauty of Sedona, beyond question, is in its restorative power,and, having recently lost my dear wife, I can share with you that my spirit has been renewed, myconfidence that the worst possible event any human can experience in life, and the pain that accompanysit so overwhelmingly, can be reversed… however slowly.I will be eternally grateful to the wonderful staff, including Stephanie, of L’Auberge; my dear diningcompanion who strongly recommended this excursion; Ali and Whitney at JPublicrelations; the Chryslerpeople who went out of their way to provide the perfect mount for this trip; the children of the Kabul,Afghanistan, refugee camps, and... that magical place we call Sedona.Recommended Listening: John Denver “Annie’s Song” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C21G2OkHEYo Special thanks to the UK’s Jstfmceh for this movingvideo
  12. 12. Epilogue: American Ferrari?The Challenger R/T is so extraordinarily well balanced that I suspect something else is at work here.During the Battle of Britain, which pitted the nearly equally matched Supermarine Spitfire andMesserschmidt BF-109 against each other in an historic battle for air supremacy over the EnglishChannel and landscape, comparisons were made by British and German fighter pilots relative to theirindividual experiences with these aircraft. While Spitfire operators often said that “You don’t sit in thisaeroplane as much as you wear it” and compared it to “a glove-like fit”, BF-109 experten associatedpositioning oneself into the cockpit as “ coffin-like”.The Spitfire descriptor works quite well for Challenger R/T, and the sensation of “wearing” this vehicleas opposed to simply being “in it” is so satisfying and impressive that one tends to forget everthing elsethat is magnificient about this automobile; i.e., the quite urgent yet smooth acceleration accorded by that5.7L Hemi V8 and the lustful, alluring sound of its exhaust note straight out of the power extreme ‘60s.The interior has been laid out with purposeful intent from the dash guages, to the 6-speed shifterplacement, to HVAC and entertainment console controls, to the grey/red coloring scheme that is at oncemilitaristic and calming. Indeed, I was so taken by the Challenger system, had become so, um, addictedto the feeling of supreme confidence while driving in any number of scenarios, that I sent urgent notesover the holidays to Chrysler’s Gualberto Ranieri and Rick Deneau pleading for more time… just a littlemore time, which they graciously granted… but was far from enough.
  13. 13. The last time I felt like this was at the controls of an ’83 Ferrari GTSi Quattrovalvole at 150 mph on anunnamed Florida highway 27 years ago and a year previous in the black 1978 Jaguar XJS V-12 thatracer Dave Heinz won the 1979 Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash (The famous-or infamous, depending on your point of view - “Cannonball Run”) with. Maybe I should also throwinto this mix sitting in the FAA observer’s seat on a British Airways Supersonic Concorde from roll-out to60,000ft at Mach 2.02 (1370mph) in 1985.That said, I suspect that the good FIAT people could not resist turning Ferrari chassis and suspensionengineers loose on a Challenger shipped to the Farmington Hills, MI facility, a place sharp-eyedobservers have seen F50s. ( Well, at least we didn’t attribute Challenger R/T’s superb road manners tospace aliens, but that would have been our next choice.)Drive this car…Carpe Diem,Myron D. StokesChallenger R/T at the famous Legends - Blast From The Past Diner; a destination on Route 66 that will make Bobby Soxers feel young again...
  14. 14. Performance Menu: 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Brake Assist Rain Brake Support Ready Alert Braking Electronic Stability Control Hill Start Assist All Speed Traction Control Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Heavy Duty Brakes Advanced Multistage Front Airbags Supplemental Side-Curtain Airbags Supplemental Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags Supplemental Side-Curtain Front and Rear Airbags Leather-Wrapped Shift Knob Halogen Headlamps Automatic Headlamps Fog Lamps LED Dual Bright Exhaust Tips Performance Steering Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel Performance Suspension Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering 5.7-Liter V8 HEMI® VVT Engine Power (SAE net) 375 hp (280 kW) @ 5,150 rpm (65.7 hp/L)(c) Torque (SAE net) 410 lb.-ft. (555 N•m) @ 4,300 rpm(c) 6-Speed Manual Transmission Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio18-Inch x 7.5-Inch Aluminum WheelsP235/55R18 BSW All Season Performance Tires Tire Pressure Monitor with Warning Lamp
  15. 15. Addendum: Getting Kicks on Route 66… A Graphic Narrative of A DriveDown Memory Lane on America’s Most Famous Highway
  16. 16. About eMOTION! REPORTS.com:eMOTION! REPORTS.com (http://emotionreports.com http://emotionreportscom.blogspot.com/ http://asimov52.wordpress.com/ ) is anautomotive/aerospace industries research and analysis site targeting professionals within the academic, media,corporate and government sectors. The site also created a pathway through which white papers and other scholarlyworks such as "Crisis On Asimov: A Vision of 2085" by national security strategist Dr. Sheila Ronis; "QuantumParallel: The Saint-Hilaire Quasiturbine as the Basis For Simultaneous Paradigm Shift in Vehicle PropulsionSystems" and "Super-Globalism: Strategies For Maintaining a Robust Industrial Base Through Technological,Policy and Process Improvement", could be presented to a broadened yet specific audience.Publisher Myron D. Stokes is an award winning veteran automotive/aerospace industry analyst and spent severalyears as an industry correspondent for Newsweek, Newsweek Japan and Newsweek International. His work as ajournalist with special emphasis on business and technology has been published in a variety of other major printmediums including the Detroit News, Changing Times Magazine, Auto Week and corporate publications. Over theyears, he has provided major corporations and media groups with “deep background” analyses that have helpedshape the direction of some of the most significant news stories and industry strategies After outlining a strategy toexpand industry coverage for Newsweek Magazine in November of 1991, he worked in the capacity of industrycorrespondent and investigative reporter. His reporting included in-depth assessments of the “shake- up” at GM, themuch publicized industrial espionage charges against former GM supplier executive Dr. Ignacio Lopez; the hazardsof doing business in China; the viability of Electric Vehicles which centered on advanced battery technology in boththe private sector and military (Newsweek International edition); the difficulties then facing Japan’s auto industryand the comeback of the Big Three (Newsweek Japan).In recent years, he has covered some of the most recognized stories in automotive, aerospace and general interest.These include the Kirk Kerkorian Chrysler takeover attempt; the GM C/K truck controversy; the U.S./Japan tradeissue (Newsweek Japan) which required significant interaction with then Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown; datafor Newsweek cover story (4/95) on Airline Safety; investigative analysis of possible collusion between the warringgovernments of Bosnia President Alijah Izetbegovich and Serbia President Slobodan Milosevic along withuncovering of plan to re-implement ethnic cleansing prior to Srebenica massacre (6/95); and the Oklahoma Citybombing. His ability to thoroughly and accurately report and analyze issues of substance garnered himself andformer Newsweek Detroit Bureau Chief Frank Washington first place in the coveted Detroit Press Club InternationalGolden Wheel Award for Automotive Journalism in 1995. This competition, judged by professors from theUniversity Of Nebraska School Of Journalism, included entries from 110 journalists in five countries. Business Weektook second place. Stokes was also privileged to function as acting Detroit Bureau Chief for Newsweek.Stokes maintains strong interest in global affairs, and continues to be involved in a range of nation building andhumanitarian/disaster relief efforts. Among these were acting as initial intercessor between UN Secretary GeneralKofi Annan and the then warring governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia; an activity which helped lead to the cessationof hostilities in October 1999; the coordination of relief activities with US, European and Middle-East basedcolleagues subsequent to the Bam, Iran, earthquake of 2004, the Pakistan earthquake of 2005, and co-structuring ofacademic and industrio/economic base developmental programs with colleagues in Pakistan and India.Lastly, in his capacity as Managing Director of Global HeavyLift Holdings, Inc., an entity involved in the creation ofa new air transportation industry subset, Stokes has just completed coordination, in conjunction with Kalitta Air US,DHL UK, AviaPartner and Fast Forward Freight of Belgium, and the British Afghan Women’s Society, of a secondemergency private airlift relief mission into the refugee camps of Kabul, Afghanistan. The mission was named“Deadra’s Flight” in honor of Stokes’ wife who recently succumbed to illness. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/urgent-appeal-ukuseuasiamiddle-east—help-with-airlift-of-winter-childrens-clothes-to-afghanistan-wanted-174768661.htmlhttp://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/amnesty-international-calls-for-international-assistance-for-prevention-of-child-freezing-deaths-in-afghanistan-as-private-citizens-commit-cargo-plane-for-airlift-175898321.html
  17. 17. Publisher’s note: A second phase of this mission will bring critically ill Afghan children to the US for treatment, withPhoenix, AZ medical facilities having been designated for this effort. A pediatric review team consisting ofphysicians and other area healthcare professionals is being formed as of now.Current Media Advisory: http://asimov52.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/veteran-automotiveaerospace-journalistanalyst-available-for-interviews-on-state-of-the-industry-its-product-and-riskbenefit-analysis-of-western-auto-companies-doing-business-in-the-peoples-repu/ Copyright 2013 e MOTION! REPORTS.com All rights reserved; fair use by academia and media permissible with acknowledgement mstokes@emotionreports.com. 74 W. Long Lake Rd. Suite 201 Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 626-616-1655Web Editor: Matt SiporinThe Children of the Kabul, Afghanistan Refugee Camps Say "Thank You Deadra Stokes" following a recently completely relief mission... Images: British Afghan Womens Society